Mark Raham Q&A Session At VFS Digital Design

Digital Design's Q&A with Vancouver Canucks' Creative Director Mark Raham

Mark Raham has been very generous with his time when it comes to helping VFS Digital Design students understand the importance of bringing a brand to life, and this time was no exception — especially since it was on a game night during a very tense playoff round with the San Jose Sharks when he showed up to our Main Theater for a Questions and Answers session about his role in developing Layered Experiences as Creative Director for the Vancouver Canucks. We were particularly grateful on this evening for his commitment to mentorship , given that he was previewing the 3rd of his preshow projection mapping presentations that night (normally he does three of them over a regular season of about 3 minutes in length, and this was a short season)  — at an extended 6 minutes!

Mark Raham presents the heart of his Layered Experiences strategy

For the benefit of newly arrived students (Digital Design’s 27th class), Mark Raham started with an introduction to just what it is that he does (which has been documented in previous oomph posts). Briefly, there are two aspects of Mark’s work, as he presented it: branding and user experience. With the Layered Experiences that he creates for the Vancouver Canucks, (which includes their fans — for, as he puts it “We Are All Canucks”) branding and user experience are integral. As Mark says, “Bringing the brand to life is about weaving story and identity together through user experience.”

The important thing is to bring the brand to life

After a brief presentation/introduction of his approach, Mark opened the floor to questions from students. It was evident from Mark’s answers that he is passionate about what he does for the Canucks, but also about design in general. He is interested in pushing the capabilities of his project, of keeping pace with the growing story of the relationship between the club, their fans and the love of the game, while extending the potential of the technology, of the design itself, and keeping the total experience fresh. It’s important that the fans, both old and new, always have something to discover while the experience continues to reinforce the feeling of belonging to something grand.

Vancouver Canucks Creative Director Mark Raham

The questions from students ranged in topics from being about the projection mapping system (—A complicated thing when dealing with light pollution and different surfaces like ice and hanging scrims, but there are some new developments currently in beta), to the particular approach to branding (—Creating a sense of belonging, focusing less on the “game” and more on the culture and the community). He also showed us some secret, never-before-seen tests his team has been doing with ultra fast Frames Per Second (FPS) Video Recording, the results of which are to be eventually integrated into the projection show. There were some incredible details revealed in the players movement, the expressions on their faces, and the ambient effects — such as ice flying up into air, which give you an up-close look at how intense it is right there on the ice.

All in all, it was a great session — Thanks Mark for your knowledge and insight!

And… you know… sorry about… you know… Anyway, we’re all excited about next year :)

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